Over 13,000 net new dwellings have been built since the 2011 earthquakes.

The 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence had a profound impact on the City's housing supply. 

It is important to monitor the overall residential building activity, both in terms of the number of damaged dwellings which have been demolished and replaced, and the amount of net new housing which has been added to the housing stock. 



Key findings

Number of occupied dwellings in Christchurch Decreasing trend
The 2013 Census recorded 148,800 dwellings in Christchurch City, of which 131,000 were occupied. Further information.
Net new housing since the earthquakes Increasing trendIncreasingTrend Since the 2011 earthquakes, around 13,600 net new houses have been consented in Christchurch. Further information.
Replacement housing since the earthquakes Increasing trendIncreasingTrend Since 2011, around 6500 replacement houses have been consented. Further information.
Annual housing growth rates Decreasing trend

Between 2011 and 2016, net new housing consents increased by an average of 25% per year.

Replacement housing consents increased by an average of 227% per year between 2012 and 2015. Further information.

Number of dwellings in Christchurch

The 2013 Census recorded 148,800 dwellings in Christchurch, which was 4100 more than in 2006.

Of these, 131,000 were occupied dwellings and 17,800 were unoccupied dwellings.

When looking at occupied dwellings, the number decreased by 4,200 between the two censuses. In contrast, the number of unoccupied dwellings increased by 8,300. This was largely due to residents being unable to live in damaged houses.

It is important to note that the two previous censuses (2006 and 2013) occurred either side of the 2011 earthquake. It is therefore difficult to isolate the impact the earthquake had on the number of dwellings in Christchurch.  

Net new housing since the earthquake

Net new housing refers to the residential construction of dwellings which add to the existing housing stock. It excludes replacement housing stock, in which a single dwelling is demolished and replaced by a single dwelling.

There has been a large amount of net new and replacement housing built in Christchurch over the last six years, with the current housing stock higher than it was prior to the 2011 earthquakes.  

The majority of the houses built since the earthquakes have been new dwellings that were not rebuilds. Since 2011, a total 13,600 net new houses have been built. This peaked at 2,350 in 2016.

Before the earthquakes, the amount of net new housing built had generally been decreasing from a peak of 2300 in 2004. This further slowed down during the Global Financial Crisis in the three years before before the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, housing construction slowed down due to the ongoing aftershocks and uncertainty of the times, as well as the time taken for insurance claims to be settled. The construction boom started from 2013 onwards.

Instructions for using the dashboard below.

Replacement housing since the earthquake

Replacement housing refers to residential construction which replaces a single dwelling that was already within the existing housing stock. For example, if a single dwelling is demolished and replaced with a single dwelling, there is no net gain to the City's housing stock. It is a simple rebuild and is classed as replacement housing.

However, if a single dwelling is demolished and replaced with two dwellings (such as town houses), then the net new housing gain would be one dwelling.

Since 2011, around 20,000 new houses have been constructed in Christchurch. One third of these (6,500) have been replacement houses, with the remainder being net new housing.

Between 2000 and 2010, replacement housing averaged 75 rebuilds per year. This dramatically increased between 2012 and 2015, averaging over 1300 per year. 

Numbers have since reduced to 382 in 2018, indicating that the majority of damaged houses have been replaced as insurance claims have been settled. Levels are still higher than before the earthquakes.

Instructions for using the dashboard below.

Annual housing growth rates

At mid-2018, the housing construction industry is slowing down and showing signs of returning to business as usual. This comes after six years of unprecedented growth in the residential sector in Christchurch, as a result of the earthquake. 

Between 2011 and 2016, net new housing consents increased by an average of 25 per cent per year. The largest increase was between 2013 and 2014, with an increase of 79 per cent. Although net new housing continues to grow, growth rates have declined by around 7 per cent annually since 2016.

Replacement housing consents increased by 409 per cent between 2012 and 2013, and averaged 227 per cent growth per year between 2012 and 2015. Although annual replacement housing consents continue to be higher than pre-quake levels, annual growth rates have fallen annually since 2015.

Objective 3.3.4 in the Christchurch District Plan [PDF, 236 KB](external link) aims to provide a range of housing opportunities to meet the diverse and changing population and housing needs of Christchurch residents, with the objective of 23,700 additional dwellings enabled between 2012 and 2028.  


Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

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